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Initial PlayStation 4 impressions

Posted by: Chuck at 11/20/2013 11:22 AM

I picked up my PS4 last Thursday night but due to a short vacation and catching up at work this is the first time I've had to write about the experience.  

Here are my initial impressions after using the PS4 for a few days.

  • The initial setup and out of the box experience of the PS4 is outstanding.  It took less than 15 minutes for me to get it unboxed, unwrapped, updated, and playing Resogun.  

  • The Dualshock 4 is a near perfect controller. Everything about the controller feels great from the stiffness of the thumbsticks to the width of the controller.  I had my doubts about the touchpad on the controller but it works as advertised and is super responsive.  The only negatives of the controller are that the Share and Options buttons which are near impossible to find without looking at the controller.  You can kind of fumble for them on the edge of the touchpad but it's not a great experience.  Adding a raised bump or some other tactile feedback would fix the only flaw in the controller.

  • The updated PS4 interface is solid but still a bit clunky.  You move along three stacked horizontal tiers to access the various features of the PS4.  It's an improvement over the PS3 interface but still feels like it could use a bit more refinement.  

  • I had an odd issue where my internet connection went down while downloading a game.  This caused the game to spam the notification window saying it was ready to install but then failed on the install.  I was able to get around the issue by deleted the game, restarting the PS4,  and redownloading the game again.

  • I’m not sure why Resogun isn’t getting more praise as it’s a gorgeous game that is a ton of fun to play.  A tutorial level would have helped a bit but so far it’s getting most of my gaming time.

  • The noise from the PS4 ranges from whisper quiet to launch Xbox 360 loud.  There are times when the Blu Ray drive revs up to loud levels during gameplay which is definitely noticeable.  This mostly happened while playing Killzone Shadow Fall but I had it ramp up a few times while playing FIFA 14.  I seem to be one of the few of my friends who is experiencing this issue though.  

  • Killzone is a very pretty game that shows off what the system can handle graphically.  It's definitely a Killzone game so the combat is paced a bit slower and the writing is bit cludgy.  The Helghasat still haven't figured out that the red glowy eye thing is just paints a big sign on their heads that says "shoot here".  I’m enjoying parts of the game and the game is definitely a big step up from Killzone 3.

  • The Playstation Live feature is fairly slick as you can browse/search for streams to watch.  Stream quality varies significantly from stream to stream but the interface is easy to use and it’s a good way to see if you want to invest in a game before buying it.  

So far I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen so far.  Sony has created a wonderful gaming device that’s easy to use and built on lessons they learned the hardway from the PlayStation 3.  I do wish there were a few more exclusives at launch but those titles will hopefully come in due time.